Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mighty Leaf

Sorry if my posts have been scattered or even rambling the past week or so. I caught a cold pretty much as soon as I got home to Ohio and can't seem to shake it. I swear this happens every time I have a break from classes and homework. It's like my body knows the exact moment I'm done with school and shuts down. Does that happen to anyone else?

Whenever I am feeling under-the-weather, I always like to cozy up with a nice steamy cup of tea. Earl Grey, Chai, Chamomile, I love pretty much every type of tea out there and I always enjoy trying new flavors. My sister turned me on to the brand Mighty Leaf when she shared some samples she received in her monthly BirchBox

The sample included three flavors: Orange Dulce, White Orchard, and Ginger Twist. All three were absolutely fantastic! I'm typically more of an herbal tea fan, but the hint of fruit in these was subtle enough that it didn't overpower the taste. I quickly drank all of the pouches during intense study sessions in Berkeley and had been meaning to place an order for more - particularly the White Orchard. Yum.

The unique pouches contain a beautiful mix of ingredients from herbs to fruit, you name it. You can clearly see inside the pouches too and notice that it's basically like you have fresh, loose tea without the hassle and messy clean-up loose tea usually involves. All you have to do is let the pouch steep for 5 minutes (more or less depending on your preference) and you have a mighty (see what I did there?) cup of delicious flavor. I don't know that I've ever had such flavorful tea without it being steeped too long and too strong.

 When I arrived home to see she had more of the tea, I knew I was in luck. Since ginger is a natural healing agent, I decided to make another cup of the Ginger Twist to help clear up some of this cold.

"A harmonious mix of lemongrass, tropical fruits and mint, fueled with a touch of ginger. A lush and magical infusion," or so says the back of the packaging ;) No complaints here!

So now here I am - resting in bed, sipping some tea, typing this post, watching re-runs of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (free on Hulu!) and hoping to get better in time to go back to work Wednesday.

I hope you all had fantastic weekends and find the time to enjoy your favorite tea (maybe iced in the summer heat)!


Friday, May 29, 2015

Travel Guide: Airport Travel in Comfort and Style

Traveling is one of my biggest passions, and between going on new adventures and flying home to Ohio from school in California, I have spent my fair share of time in the airport weaving through crowds of passengers from one layover to the next. As convenient as flying is, there are still hours spent in the air that can be a lot more enjoyable if you are dressed well and packed correctly. 

I'm becoming somewhat of a "regular" at SFO and CLE, so I thought I would share what I tend to wear to the airport for warm weather travel along with what I usually carry in my "personal item" carry-on. (I'll save my larger carry-on for another day.)

What to wear:

1. Maxi: During the warmer months I like to wear a cotton maxi dress for air-travel. I posted recently about how maxi dresses and skirts basically feel like pajamas, which is so true. You always want to be comfy during your flight and there is no comfier way to fly in style. I own a versatile black maxi from Banana Republic that I typically choose, and this dress from Nordstrom is very similar.

2. Scarf: As comfortable as a maxi dress can be, they're often sleeveless which is not good on a cool plane. A pretty scarf is a great way to warm up the look and add a pop of color to the plain black dress. I have a plaid blanket scarf I love to use - I even bundle it up as a pillow during flights. This colorful patterned scarf from Zara is gorgeous!

3. Sweater: Like I said before, airplanes can be pretty chilly, so you definitely want to be sure to layer. I like to toss on a loose fitted cardigan over my maxi dress along with the scarf. Pairing the dress with a good scarf and sweater can tie together a great look while comfortably cruising to your departure gate. I like to wear a marled sweater I got from Nordstrom Rack, but it's older and sold out. This sweater from Nordstrom is a great alternative!

4. Shoes: Last, but certainly not least, you need a good pair of shoes. This is honestly the most important part of your outfit because you'll do a decent amount of walking through the airport (but I'm sure you already knew that). You want to be sure to remember to choose something comfortable that won't be a hassle to take off for security and on the plane. I've witnessed too many times a security line has taken ages to move because someone (myself included) forgot they'd need to take off their crazy strapped sandals or super tight laced sneakers. Do yourself and everyone a favor and be prepared. In winter, I usually wear a nice pair of riding boots, but for the summer time I stick to the easy choice of slip-on sandals. These Target sandals have been my go-to daily choice this season and were a great pair for my trip home to Ohio last weekend. (Oh, and if you're like me and worry about your feet getting cold, try packing a warm pair of socks in your purse to put on once you're seated in the plane.)

What to Carry:

1. Tote: A lot of passengers either don't realize or don't take advantage of the flexibility you're given with your personal item. When they suggest purse or laptop case, that doesn't mean you can't use a large tote that will hold your purse and laptop and other treats. It simply needs to fit under the seat in front of you - just don't be that passenger who tries to put a full size duffle in. When in doubt, check the measurements allotted online. How much leg room you desire may also impact how large you want your bag to be, but I find you're pretty much cramped either way. I use a large bag from Old Navy which is similar to this bag from Nordstrom and Target's version here.

2. Wallet: While you could definitely put your entire purse in the tote, I find it's a hastle to have to pull one bag from another and then a wallet from there. It's a little too much like Russian Nesting Dolls for me. I typically pack my normal purse away and toss my wallet near the top of the tote. It saves time and space. My wallet is from Target and I love all of the pockets it has.  

3. Laptop/Tablet: If I'm taking a trip where I know space is limited and I won't need to do work, I usually pack my iPad. It's smaller and lighter. However, if I plan to work from home, like I am while in Ohio, it's helpful to have my laptop computer. (I won't link the Mac because I think y'all know where to find one ;) ) Unless flying abroad, I don't buy the wifi but I will edit photos, organize files an watch a movie if there's time. Often my laptop doesn't get used during the flight, but I still like to have it under the seat near me just in case. 

4. Food/Drink: We all know airport and airplane food is a rip-off. They overprice everything and they can because you can't exactly go anywhere else - but you can bring your own food. I like to grab either a couple of granola bars or some granola (the pictured is from Costco and is delicious) that I know will tide me over. If it's a longer flight through a meal, I do usually cave and buy food (hey, it's a rare time that I actually eat fast food), but it would be easy enough to pack a sandwich. Drinks are trickier, but if you can hang in there until your flight for the free soda and coffee, a water bottle will do the trick. Just make sure it's empty before going through security (been there and it's not fun). Also, gum - it helps with ears popping and airplane breath. 

5. Reading Material: Whether it's a book, magazine, newspaper, etc. you'll likely want something to read while in the air. I don't purchase magazines all too often, but love to indulge and skim through them while in the air. It's also some of the only time I've gotten to read for fun since being in grad school (I finished Tina Fey's entire autobiography on one half of my trip to D.C. this November). Just sit back with a good read and enjoy the ride!

Well, that was a super long post! If you've made it to the end, I hope the list is somewhat helpful. It may seem obvious or simple if you travel via plane often, but I've had friends of mine who don't fly often ask me what I do and I thought I would share it here. Let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas!

Happy Traveling!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pajamas for the Office

There's nothing quite like wearing a maxi skirt (or dress). I half-joke with friends about them being like pjs, but I don't think they realize I'm being serious. Paired with a super soft cotton top, this outfit had me feeling like I was wearing sweats while being dressed appropriately for work. 

When I saw this gorgeous bright coral color at Old Navy, I immediately fell in love. I had been looking for a red maxi skirt for a while now and even though this one is more pinky, the color replaced my desire for red. I can't wait to wear it with a chambray shirt or maybe a printed white tank. There are so many options!

I tend to fiddle with where I wear maxi skirts on my body. Because my waist is so small compared to my hips, I tend to like to pull the skirt up higher to accentuate my waist. Unfortunately that tends to make the hem a tad too short, but I didn't mind it this time around. It's all a matter of what feels comfortable for you and your body type.

Top: Marshalls (similar)
Skirt: Old Navy (similar, exact in a pattern)
Sandals: Old from Kohls (another option)
Ring: Garage Sale - thanks mom! (similar)


Linking up with Mix&MatchFashion

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Olive Summer ❤

The title of this post was meant to be a sort of play-on-words, but text doesn't always translate tones. To better grasp the pun I was intending, it will help if you pronounce "olive" similar to "I love." And boy, do I love these olive shorts.

I have a pair of pants in this same color and you would be surprised how many things they match. Sometimes it's nice to have bottoms other than blue jeans that you can wear repeatedly. As you may guess, I often wear them with a white top, but that's mainly because I like white blouses (see pretty much every outfit I have shared thus far). I have a red, yes I said red, tank top that I also find works great. I think the olive serves more as a dark khaki in those cases.

Top: Old Navy (other color)
Shorts: Old Navy (exact)
Sandals: Target (exact)
Wallet: Target (exact)
Sunglasses: Target (exact)
Earrings: Loft (in silver)

We just finished up our last week or so of classes which had everyone in a frenzy of paper writing and test cramming. I'm excited that summer vacation has officially started, but I also know I have a ton to do before leaving for Spain in June. Has anyone ever packed for a backpacking trip? I essentially have to pack for 2 months in one pack and possibly a carryon suitcase to leave in storage while on the Camino Ignacio for the first month... I have a feeling all of the "capsule wardrobe" blogs and posts I've been seeing around are going to come in pretty handy. Tips and suggestions are very much appreciated :)


Link-ups: SydneyFashionHunter, ThePleatedPoppy

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Let's Review

With the weather heating up, it's just about time to officially break out the summer clothing. To embrace the changing of seasons, I decided to head over to Old Navy and cash in on some of the reward points I had been saving. I went with the intent to find a new pair of shorts (which I did - score!) but obviously had to try on a few other things...

Following the footsteps of one of my favorite bloggers, Franish, I thought I would share reviews of what worked and what did not.

The first item that I tried on was a pair of olive green shorts. I have pants in this color and love them, so I am happy to have found a cooler way to wear some of my usual outfits during the summer. I'm pretty self-conscious when it comes to shorts and showing my legs, but I found these to be a nice length on me (5'8").

I also tried on a variety of tops with the shorts. Does anyone else ever notice when they shop that they gravitate to the same color in a bunch of items? I feel like every time I shop I try on 5 items in one color. Maybe that's just me though. This trip I was apparently feeling the crisp, white tops.

Of the four, I chose the floral striped tee (top left) and dot-trimmed long-sleeve shirt (bottom right). The scalloped tee (top right) is super cute in theory, but the oversized trend is not flattering on me. The buttoned tunic (bottom left) was too large and the store didn't have a smaller size, which was fine by me since there were already two white shirts in my "probably" pile... Fortunately for me, both of the shirts were on the clearance rack and part of a "buy-2-get-1-free" deal. (My freebie was one of my favorite running tops in a new color.)

I wasn't necessarily searching for a new maxi skirt, but I noticed this beauty on a rack and am so happy I did. I've already worn it twice after having it for less than a week (outfit post coming soon). This color was only available on-line and is already sold out. (Thank you to whoever returned it in stores!) The skirt is still available in a few patterns found here!

 This maxi dress was great, but I had already chosen a few "yes" pieces. I also already own a black maxi dress, so ultimately I had to say no. If you're in the market for a new maxi dress I would definitely give it a try. The crochet detailing adds interest to an otherwise plain outfit. Add some colorful jewelry or a nice pair of wedges and voila.

 Lastly, I bought this dress. You can't really tell from this photo or the one on the website, but those are tiny sea shells in the pattern. This summer I am hiking a camino in Spain. The symbol for the most known camino (Camino de Santiago) is a seashell and even though I am hiking the Camino de Ignacio, I thought it would be a cute "nicer outfit" for a dinner on the trip. 

And there you have it - a trip meant for one pair of shorts ended up including three shirts, a dress and a skirt. Luckily, saving my rewards meant I spent <$10! 

Have you picked up any new clothes for the summer? I'd love to see what y'all are choosing this season.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

From That, To This: Leek and Beet Salad

I think I have mentioned my obsession with beets as of late. It all began when I saw a photo for this recipe on pinterest. Leek and Beet Salad. It looked so great, I had to give it a try and oh man am I in love. I've changed some small things to make it more suitable for me and my housemates and thought I would share it here. It's seriously amazing. 
1 large beet
2 leeks
1 cup lentils

(Not Pictured)
olive oil
lemon juice
maple syrup
various spices for lentils

Preheat oven to 400°F. As always, begin by washing your vegetables. Peel and slice your beet into 1/2" thick pieces and chop leeks to about the same thickness. Place both vegetables on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the baking sheet into the over for 15-20 minutes or until the beets are cooked to your liking.

While the beets and leeks are in the oven, place 1 cup lentils into a pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. They will be done when the water is completely absorbed (like quinoa). This should take 10-15 minutes. Near the end of the cook time when there is only a little water left, I like to add spices to the lentils for extra flavor. I'm a fan of cumin, but also salt and pepper. Choose what you like and make them your own!

Next chop up kale (any variety that you prefer) and put it into a large bowl. Drizzle in about a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice and massage (yes, I sad massage) the greens. I know it sounds like a silly thing to do and possibly pointless, but massaging the kale really does make a difference to the taste. It cuts a little bit of the bitterness that raw kale has. 

By this point, your lentils and veggies are probably done and off the stove/out of the oven. Go ahead and mix the kale, lentils and veggies together.

For the dressing, I recommend the simple tahini based one that the original recipe suggests. It calls for tahini, maple syrup, lemon juice, and olive oil. I find salad dressings to be personal to tastebuds and usually eyeball them more so than use a strict recipe.

I also like to use more olive oil and less tahini than recommended. For my dressing, I use a 2:1 ratio of olive oil and tahini and little-by-little add the lemon juice and syrup along with some salt and pepper to taste. If I had to suggest amounts, I would probably say 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/8 cup tahini, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper. Again, I would test out your own ratios to find a taste that you enjoy. 

Add the dressing to the salad, mix it all up and enjoy!

If you decide to try it out, I'd love to hear what you think and how you added your own flair to the recipe. Feel free to comment or question!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Spots and Stripes

I had planned to wear a sleeveless summer dress yesterday, but the Berkeley weather thought otherwise. Never thought I would say this, but the 60s are pretty chilly, especially when it's cloudy and windy. Lucky for me, a plain black sundress is super easy to layer and still look cute.

To warm up the look, I simply tossed on a jean jacket and scarf, and traded sandals for closed-toed flats. Just because the sun refused to come out didn't mean the bright colors had to stay hidden away. How fun are the polkadot flats?! I bought them at Old Navy for $10.54 and with a $10 reward coupon, I literally spent 54 cents on them! What?!

Dress: Loft (exact, similar)
Jacket: Old, Abercrombie (similar)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar)
Scarf: Marshalls - Steve Madden (similar, love this)
Rings: Sophie Harper (similar)
Bracelet: Gorjana (exact)

There is nothing I like styling more than a plain black dress. There are just so many combinations! I've worn this one as business casual to the office with a cardigan, to a musical with nice shoes and my hair curled, and just by itself on a warm day with flip-flops. It's the dress for any occasion!

I'd love to hear how you style your plain black dress!


Also, my roommate, Torrey, has graciously been helping me take some photos. Thought I would share a couple bloopers below. Happy Monday! :)

linking up with StyleElixir, Pumps and Pushups, SydneyFashionHunter, Mix&MatchFashion

Saturday, May 16, 2015

From That, To This: Breakfast Quinoa

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I hate to admit that I am still not really a fan. Maybe it's just because I didn't grow up eating it and still haven't disciplined myself to do so, but I probably skip this meal at least 4/7 days a week.

That being said, I am trying to get into the habit of healthier eating which means including breakfast in the routine. To spice it up a little some days, I have started making Breakfast Quinoa which is another deliciously easy recipe my roommate Torrey has shared with me. I don't know what I'll learn to cook when she's gone next year!

1/4 cup quinoa
almond milk
shredded coconut

(Not Pictured)
1/2 cup water

Begin by putting the quinoa and water in a pot on the stove. Add a splash of vanilla, turn it on high, and let it cook. The quinoa should take about 10 minutes to be done, but be sure to keep an eye on it. Burnt quinoa is not fun. You'll know it's done when the water is completely gone.

While you're waiting for the quinoa to be cooked, wash and cut your strawberries, or berry of choice. Blackberries would probably be delicious in this!

Once the quinoa is done, put it into your bowl,  add desired amount of almond milk (sort of like oatmeal) and toss on the berries. Lastly, drizzle some honey, sprinkle some coconut and add a dash of cinnamon. That's it! (Told you it was easy!)

I really like breakfast quinoa because it's similar to oatmeal, but not as thick and heavy. As I said, I'm not a big breakfast eater, so the lighter the food, the better. Plus, the quinoa is only as sweet as you make it, so you don't have to worry about the early morning stomach ache from sugary cereal (unless you pile on the honey...)

What's really great about it is that there are so many ways you can make it different and make it your own. In fact, after I had taken these photos, I noticed shredded almonds in our cabinet and tossed some on. Yum!

Let me know what you think! I hope you like it!


Thursday, May 14, 2015


I started an Instagram account for my blog. I have had a personal account for a few years, but I keep it super private (no one following) and only use it to edit photos and follow bloggers. So, I guess this is really my first official, share-photos, follow-me account. 

You can find me at @simplysarahsblog.

I've even added some fun new buttons from Etsy to the side of my blog in case y'all want to follow along on Bloglovin', Instagram, or if you just want to send an email my way :)

Today is the day I step into current social media trends. 
But I refuse to get a twitter... for now.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Little Lilly and A Lot of Color

 Remember that one time Target did a collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer and it turned into a notorious event deemed "Pink Sunday"? I will admit that I did go to Target that day, but not at the crack of dawn like a lot of shoppers who were clearly more informed about the demand then I was. I honestly didn't think it would be such a big deal! My friend Natalie and I already had plans to shop for supplies for a work event and decided to make Target one of our stops. Like everyone else, we found the shelves pretty bare, with the exception of a few items. Most of the clothing I had wanted to try was taken, but I was able to score a yellow halter top that I had on my list, but that was it - at least until this past weekend.

I needed to pick up some new soap Sunday, stopped by our local Target, and what did I find? A rack with a decent amount of the Lilly by Target merchandise (yay returns). It was mostly children's clothes and random sizes, but there were a few hidden gems. Among them was a pair of white shorts and a very colorful floral tank top that was actually the piece I had most wanted to try. I guess patience pays off, eh?

Top: Lilly by Target (exact, similar)
Cardigan: Gap Outlet (similar)
Shorts: Gap Outlet (similar)
Ring: Sophie Harper (similar)
Pearl Bracelets: Old (similar)
Watch: Boutique in South Korea (similar)
Gold Bangle: Gorjana (exact)
Sandals: Target (exact)
Purse: Coach, from Garage Sale - thanks mom! (similar)

 The pattern is a lot bolder and more colorful than I typically wear, but I really like how vibrant and summery it is. Plus, the neon coloring tends to make my skin look more tan than it actually is and that is always a win in my book. Did you notice the subtle pineapple accent on my shirt's zipper? Have I mentioned I love that trend right now?


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Save or Splurge: Pineapples

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope your weeks are off to a great start. 

Today I wanted to share more save-or-splurge items involving a trend I have been seeing and loving: pineapples! Has anyone else noticed this tasty treat becoming the focal point of shoes, jewelry, clothes, etc? Pineapples are the perfect summer fruit and now they're becoming a great summer accessory or accent. 
shoes: left | right
tank: left | right
tote: left | right

Another thing that I love about this trend is that not all pieces are obnoxiously loud and in your face. There is a time and place for your wardrobe to say "Hi there, pineapple here!" (see the shoes and bags above - I'm in love with the Kaanas espadrilles). But there are also more subtle uses of the fruit in patterns that give a little interest without screaming "I'm wearing fruit!" (like the patterns found in the two tank tops). 

As far as jewelry, Jessica over at Bedknobs and Bobbles shared these adorable pineapple studs last week, which would be another great way to add a pineapple to your look --- never a phrase I thought I would use... but hey, they're pretty great!

Any way you slice it (see what I did there), pineapples are making quite an appearance this summer. Has this summer trend found its way into your closet yet?


Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Touch of Glam

necklace: Loft (exact, similar)

I've been playing around with jewelry lately. I love seeing the difference accessories can make to an outfit. For example, yesterday I was wearing a super simple outfit consisting of a striped cotton top and jeans. Simple, easy, but also very plain. I didn't want to change clothes (comfy wins in my book), but I did want to look more put together. I took a look through my jewelry and was instantly pulled to a necklace I bought a wile back from the Loft. It wasn't a combination I would normally pair, but I decided to give it a try. Loved it. The contrasting of sparkle and cotton was exactly what I was looking for. A little touch of glam took my outfit from meh to yeah.

Do you have any tips for glamming up a simple outfit?


Friday, May 8, 2015

From That, To This: Brussels Sprouts

Happy Friday everyone! Today I wanted to share a recipe my roommate, Torrey, introduced me too earlier this year. It's a very simple and very delicious brussels sprouts dish made on your stovetop with only four ingredients. 

My housemates and I love them. It seems like someone in the apartment is always making this dish, which usually sparks another one of us to join in the fun as well. In fact, while I was cooking to prepare this post, Torrey came by and ate a bowl with me.

If you have sworn off brussels sprouts from a young age, I encourage you to give them another try. I think these tasty veggies get a bad rap and I know some of you are still probably thinking "brussels sprouts? ewwww." Try them out! You may be pleasantly surprised.

brussels sprouts
coconut oil
balsamic vinaigrette
parmesan cheese 

Begin by washing your brussels sprouts and cutting them in half. After you're finished chopping, heat about a teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan. Once the oil is melted, put in the sprouts with the flat, cut side facing down. Let them cook for about 3 minutes or until they are desired amount of brown. (I like mine a little crispier.) Stir the brussels sprouts and splash in a tablespoon of balsamic vinaigrette. Let the veggies absorb the vinaigrette and cook for another minute or so. Just a warning, the vinaigrette will change the color of the sprouts so they may look slightly more burnt than you intended. Put the brussels sprouts in a bowl, sprinkle them with some parmesan cheese, and that's it.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Do you have any delicious ways to use brussels sprouts in a dish? I'd love to hear it!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Save or Splurge: Sandals

Well, it's that time of the year again: sandal time! (Or so my friends in the midwest tell me. It's pretty much always sandal time in California...) Either way, summer is coming, which means stores are being stocked with new sandals to show off freshly painted toes.

This summer I decided to look for a nice cognac pair. After browsing the different choices, I put together a list of some "saves or splurges" to share with y'all, though a couple are in different colors. 

(From top to bottom)
Left: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Right: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I bought the top left pair from Target (here) and love them. They're versatile, comfy, and easy to slip on and off. I have a feeling they're going to be my go-to pair of shoes this summer. Plus, Target is having a buy-one-get-one-50%-off sale on select apparel, shoes and accessories which includes both pairs shared above! I chose this wallet as my second item because my old one recently bit the dust. The bold color and plenty of pockets and card slots made it a great choice. 

Have you bought any new sandals this summer? Which style do you prefer?


Monday, May 4, 2015

A Pop of Cobalt

Top: Old Navy (exact)
Jeans: Old from Gap (similar, non-distressed)
Shoes: Old from Khols
Earrings: Kendra Scott (exact)
Watch: Boutique in South Korea (similar)

Sometimes the easiest  best outfit is a pair of old jeans and white tank top paired with fun accessory. I love the pop of color, interest and glamour the earrings give to such a simple, comfortable outfit. They were an easy fix to make me feel a little more put together amidst the whirlwinds of running errands. 
(I just wish the photo of the full outfit showed them! I will get this photo thing down, I promise.)

What's your favorite accessory to brighten an easy outfit?

Also, please excuse the wrinkly shirt. I am developing a love-hate relationship for some of Old Navy's newer tops. The material is super soft, but they wrinkle like nobody's business. I ironed it just before taking photos and it still got wrinkled! Is anyone else experiencing this? Any tips for keeping them wrinkle-free for longer?